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Inflation eases beyond expectations

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Canada's annual inflation rate slowed more than expected in November from a two-year high in October, providing relief for the central bank as it seeks to keep interest rates low to support the still-fragile recovery.

The consumer price index edged up 0.1 percent in the month for an annual rate of 2 percent, Statistics Canada said on Tuesday. That was down from 2.4 percent annual inflation in the previous month and below the market forecast of 2.2 percent.

Statistic Canada attributed the year-over-year deceleration to energy, food and clothing prices.

The core rate most closely watched by the Bank of Canada was unchanged in the month and rose 1.4 percent on the year, compared with 1.8 percent in October.

The November inflation figures support the view that the central bank, which targets 2 percent inflation, will hold rates steady into early 2011.

The bank kept interest rates on hold at 1 percent this month for the second consecutive time after raising borrowing costs three times between June and September.

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